Study Climate Science and Environmental Change at the University of Montana

Learn how climate change and other forms of environmental change are impacting ecosystems and society, and how science can contribute to climate solutions.

With a focus in climate science and environmental change, you’ll engage in hands-on research projects under the supervision of leading environmental scientists — through internships, employment as research assistants and other real-world learning opportunities. You’ll also participate in numerous field-based experiences in the amazing outdoor classroom of western Montana, gaining practical skills that will make you stand out to employers.

As an environmental science major at UM, you’ll learn from the best. Our faculty includes experts in climate policy, climate adaptation, climate and agriculture, climate and fire, climate and restoration, climate and ecosystems, and much more. They have also contributed to initiatives such as the Montana Climate Assessment and helped develop the Montana Climate Solutions Plan.


of Franke College graduates are employed or in graduate school


concentrations to help build your expertise


acres of land managed for faculty and student research and learning

Other degree options for environmental science and sustainability at UM

What can you do with an environmental science degree?

Graduates of the climate science and environmental change program are prepared to work on climate solutions from the community to the international scale — advancing research on sustainability, developing new climate policies, working on resilient land management and much more. Our alumni are sought after by employers around the world for their holistic knowledge of climate, and their ability to connect science and practice.

Environmental science jobs

This concentration of the environmental science degree will prepare you for a number of climate science and climate change jobs, including:

  • Public land manager
  • Sustainability coordinator
  • Climate policy advisor
  • Climate NGO staff
  • Community organizer
  • Climate researcher

Environmental science salary

According to, the average climate scientist salary in the United States is $77,173. Sustainability coordinators are reported to earn an average of $55,019 per year, while the mid-range salary for a community organizer is $49,146.

Video: A culture of sustainability at the University of Montana

At UM, sustainability is part of everything we do. Find out what it means to us, and how we’re leading the way to a more sustainable future.

Beyond the classroom: Experiential learning in the environmental science and sustainability degree program

At UM, we prioritize science that solves problems, and emphasize hands-on learning in the field. From land management to climate policy, from ecosystems to social systems, the climate science concentration focuses on identifying solutions, offering unique opportunities to take your studies beyond the classroom and into the landscapes and communities of Montana.

Field experiences in the climate science degree

Participate in cutting-edge climate change research. Gain real-world experience through internships and climate science jobs. Explore the shores of Flathead Lake, the forests of the Swan Valley and the slopes of the Mission Mountains. At UM, field-based learning experiences help you build research skills, connect classroom lessons to applied projects and prepare you for environmental science and sustainability jobs after you graduate.

Study abroad opportunities for environmental science and sustainability majors

Study climate science, climate change and global warming, environmental change and more overseas. With a major in environmental science and sustainability, you’ll qualify for Franke Sustainability Fellowships, which fund international research and education focused on sustainability. Learn more about study abroad opportunities at the University of Montana.

Career development in the environmental science and sustainability bachelor’s degree program

Studying environmental science and sustainability at the University of Montana means working alongside award-winning faculty who connect science and solutions every day. It also means getting the personal, one-on-one support you need and want as part of your educational experience.

As an environmental science and sustainability major, you’ll have a professional advisor and a faculty mentor to work with you to select courses, identify the right internships and prepare for jobs or graduate school. When you earn your bachelor’s degree, you can look forward with confidence: 97% of Franke College of Forestry and Conservation alumni are employed or pursuing graduate studies.

Student organizations for environmental science majors

Student organizations are another great way to connect with interesting opportunities, build your professional network and make new friends. Here are some of the organizations at UM you might be interested in learning more about with a focus in climate science:

  • Climate Response Club
  • Fire Club
  • UM Society for Ecological Restoration
  • Student Recreation Association
  • American Fisheries Association
  • Backcountry Hunters and Anglers
  • UM Whitewater Club
  • UM Ski Club

Environmental science and sustainability scholarships

In addition to several program-specific scholarships, majors in environmental science and sustainability also qualify for Franke College of Forestry and Conservation scholarships, which complement other scholarships and financial aid opportunities awarded at UM.

Explore classes for th environmental science and sustainability program

Courses in the climate science and environmental change concentration focus on a range of topics, including how climate change and global warming impact ecosystem services, communities and society, as well as how to advance local to global climate solutions.

View all classes for the climate science and environmental change concentration in the bachelor’s degree in environmental science and sustainability.